Thursday, April 26, 2012

Skywatch Friday and a blogging break

This week's Skywatch feature is a photo that I'm pretty sure I've posted before, but it's one of my favorites, so I'm sharing it with you again :o) It's a view of the sunny May sky seen through the wrought iron dome of a pavilion at Aiken, South Carolina's Hopelands Gardens.

On another note, do not be surprised if you do not see any new posts from me until at least Wednesday next week. I have yet another choir practice tomorrow night and then will probably be spend the end of the evening with my Sweetheart. Then as of Saturday I will be spending some time with my grandparents who will be visiting for my concert, which is on Sunday. On Monday we have a family dinner before my grandparents leave, on Tuesday night, yup, another choir practice in view of my concert on May 6th and then I should be back on Wednesday. I'll see how things go and will get a post up if I can, but right now I'm not really planning on it.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and don't forget to stop by the Skywatch Friday blog to see more lovely skies from around the world :o)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today I...April 24th

Today I... sharing another piece from Eric Whitacre's 'Water Night' album with you, this one is 'Oculi Omnium', which translates to 'The eyes of all'. There is usually a 'look toward thee, O Lord' thrown onto the end there, to make it Oculi omnium ad te spectant, Domine (sing in a choir that focuses on sacred music long enough and your Latin becomes almost as fluent as a monk's ;o) ), but look at the length of that and you can see why they used the shorthand version for the title of the piece on the album! Once again, the solo soprano line has me drooling!

...had a fairly busy day at work. D is off this week so I am doing a chunk of his work on top of mine, throw a tour in there and you have a very busy me all day long. No tour tomorrow, so that should help me along.

...was relieved when I woke up with no symptoms from the cold that C so graciously came to work with yesterday. She doesn't understand why people give her heck when she comes in with a cold. Apparently people in Haiti react with sympathy when you show up someplace saying 'I feel lousy, I'm feverish and have aches and chills and my nose in all stuffed up.', whereas the first thing people do here is back away and say 'Don't give it me! Why aren't you at home in bed???'. I guess since it's warm all year-round in Haiti, things don't get around as much since people spend most of their time outside rather than inside in close quarters for six months out of the year. One thing is for sure, if I catch C's cold and cannot sing at my concert the weekend or next weekend, I will not be impressed!!! I've doubled my daily dose of Vitamin C in the hopes of  keeping any germs at bay and am most happy that C will not be coming to work again until Thursday afternoon due to some appointments.

...was impressed by how moody the weather was today. We got rain, a few snowflakes, sun and hail several times all in the same day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Today I...April 22nd

Today I...

...bought two albums on iTunes, Water Night by Eric Whitacre, one of my favorite choral composers being one of them. I just had to share his Alleluia with you. It is truly stunning and it is on my bucket list of pieces that I hope to sing with my choir one day...hopefully the solo line. It is right in my range so it would be fairly simple for me to sing. I'd get a case of stage fright from Hell, but I'd pull it off :oJ

That's it for today as it's late. Please note that posting might be a bit sporadic this week as I have three choirs practices leading up to a concert on Sunday, one tomorrow night, one Thursday night and another on Friday night. I think I'm going to be gargling with salt water a lot lol

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Today I...April 21st

(picture I took of some tulips that grew in front of an apartment building beside the Oratory a few years back)

Today I...

...had a quiet day at home. up late, as I always do on weekends.

...watched 'Pleasantville' on TV. I had never seen it and found it to be a good movie, although maybe a bit predictable at times.

...spent the afternoon after the movie was over right up until 7:30 P.M. writing a letter to my Sweetheart. It's a Word document, not an e-mail so I'll see if I send it to him or not. It's full of all sorts of things that I've been wanting us to talk about lately that we haven't been able to because of his work overload. It's not a negative letter by any means, just a some things that I'd like us to be able to work out. We went out on a date last night, something that we haven't done in ages and while I was able to get his mind of of his work and all the stress that it's causing him for short periods of time, it kept coming back. He's trying so hard to balance things and spend time with me, but I still get home right after seeing him and feel like I'm missing him already. I'm worried about him too, I haven't seen him this stressed out since he was trying to finish his Master's thesis while working a 'real' job at the same time. He's paler than I've seen him in a good year and he's lost weight (probably all muscle tone because he hasn't been to the gym since February) and just looks so worried all the time. I don't know what to do, I feel so powerless to help him and at the same time I feel as though I'm adding to his stress by being all needy and insecure. I've come to notice that when someone close to me becomes unbalanced in their work habits for more than a week or two, I start to flip out. My Sweetheart has been working like a demon since January, so that should give you an idea of my state of mind right now. It ain't pretty. When I do see him, I just want to stick to him like Velcro and God bless him, he puts of with long as we're at home. Anyhow, that's another reason why I've been a bit sporadic about my posts recently, I'm trying to deal with my fear that my Sweetheart is going to turn into a clinical workaholic. Logically, I know that's highly unlikely because he is miserable right now and would like nothing better than to be able to stop working. He is not working because he feels it give him any sort of emotional high or because he feels that the status of his job or the social status it brings him are what people love him for, he is working because if he doesn't deliver the goods on time for the building projects he's working on right now, his business is toast. He just ended up with way more on his plate than he ever planned on having. Hopefully he'll be able to clear of his plate soon though, because I can only logic away this illogical fear of mine for so long. Right now he is feeling rather pessimistic and doesn't think all this stuff will clear up until after he gets back from Angola, which is looking like July. I wonder what the expiry date on my stock of logic is?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today I...April 19th

Today I... finding the time to get a post in. glad to have a quiet evening at home as I am feeling quite tired.

...spent the day wearing a scarf to help my tired voice along. I gave a three hour tour yesterday afternoon to a group of City of Montreal tour guides who asked tons and tons of questions, hence the tour lasting three hours. I then came home, showered, ate dinner, turned around and went right back out for a three hour choir practice. Not easy on the vocal cords and I was shuddering at the idea of having to give another tour today, but luckily keeping my scarf on to keep my throat warm and help relax my vocal cords helped out a bit and I made it through my tour without my voice getting too much more tired than it already was.

...had a nice walk home. my laundry done. Thursday has pretty much become my official laundry day as I find it is much easier to get a machine on a Thursday night before 6:00 P.M. than it is to get one on a Saturday or Sunday at any time during the day. so happy that it's Friday tomorrow. Have I mentioned that I'm tired?

(Magique sleeping in the corner of my old couch a few days after I adopted she and Quinn. I will look just as happy to be sleeping as she does in this photo within about two hours.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today I...April 18th

Today I... breaking my no blogging from work rule, because I just have to tell you about what happened to me on the way to work this morning and also because I miss blogging, I really haven't been around much lately! Sorry about that, I'll try and do better!

So, lets start by the beginning! I took a half a sick day yesterday to go and get some shots just in case I end up going down south with my Sweetheart. I was not immunized against Hepatitis A or B or Tetanus, so made an appointment at the travel clinic for 10:20 in the morning and got my first round of Twinrix (next round is on May 15th) and the Tetanus shot. I left from there and headed towards Berri-UQAM metro station to get in to work, but as I was going through the station, I remembered that it was a service center for the STM where you can register your Opus transit card. By registering your card with the STM (Société de Transport de Montréal), you can have it replaced for free if it is lost or stolen. I headed over to the service center and they registered my card and then I used it to get on the metro and put it in my purse. Fast forward to this morning, my Sweetheart and I head out of my apartment at 8:10 A.M. to head to work. I tell him how I registered my card yesterday and we're talking about how great it is that we can do that now with the chip cards, because it used to really suck when you lost your magnetic card and had to pay for a new one all over again. Then the bus shows up and I can't find my pass!!! I kid you not, it was not in my purse. My Sweetheart and I went one stop and then had to get off because I couldn't pay. We rooted through my purse some more, still nothing, so we ended up walking back to my place where I checked the pockets of the coat I was wearing yesterday and emptied my purse and shook it upside down while my Sweetheart did a thorough run through of my wallet to see if my card was there. No such luck. I felt horrible, I really had no clue how I could have managed to lose my bus pass! My Sweetheart was really good about the whole thing and gave me enough change so I could get back on the bus and get to work and also so that I could get on the metro later on today to go and get my replacement pass. I just hope that there's no delay in the registration time for transit passes and that mine went through yesterday or early this morning, otherwise I will be a most unhappy camper. I think I'll print out another registration form, fill it in and bring it with me when I go to the service center on my lunch hour so I can hand it in one the spot for my new card!!! One thing is for sure though, the transit passes in Montreal are bargains. If you're like me and you take the bus and metro on average a minimum of twice a day every day and you are an adult on full fare, you would spend a minimum of 180$ a month without a pass. If you buy a monthly pass though, you pay 75.50$ a month and travel as much as you like. I will try not to complain the next time they hike the rates lol

So there you have it, my transit pass saga! Moral of this story: I will never wait  before registering my pass again and my Sweetheart is very deserving of his blog nickname :o)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Today I...April 14th

Today I... sharing another image of the Titanic with all of you. This one is a scene that was used in the 1997 film 'Titanic'. When James Cameron filmed Titanic, he was greatly inspired by the paintings of Ken Marschall. His paintings of the Titanic are so realistic, that when I was very little and beginning to be interested in the Titanic, I thought they were actual photos of the ship until my mother explained to me that color photos didn't exist when the Titanic was built. This particular painting depicts the Titanic sailing into the sunset on the evening of April 14th, 1912, exactly 100 years ago. I have really enjoyed watching all of the documentaries about the Titanic on the National Geographic Channel this week (and yes, it has kept me away from my blog!), but my favorite, by far, has been Titanic: Case Closed. It has opened my eyes to the true causes behind the sinking. If you ever have the chance to watch this documentary, you really should, whether you are a Titanic buff or not! having a quiet Saturday at home. I went out for groceries, but otherwise have spent my time relaxing. I really am very tired and overdue for a vacation, I woke up this morning I was extremely confused and had no clue what day of the week it was and was horrified at the thought that I was going to have to get up and go to work until I remembered it was Saturday. I then turned over and went back to sleep.

...still do not know whether or not I will be going on vacation with my Sweetheart at the end of May, but have made an appointment to get  Hepatitis A&B and  Tetanus vaccines on Tuesday morning just in case we end up going down South to the Caribbean or Cuba, or Mexico or someplace like that. Paris is looking much less likely now as the flights are so expensive and hotels and apartments are now pretty much all full. I guess Paris will have to wait another year! Oh and if you're wondering what the hold up is for our vacation plans: my Sweetheart has to wait and when he's going off on his business Angola!!! Why can't they go on business trips someplace like Chicago or New York?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today I...April 11th

Today I..

...went back to work after three days off that went by far too quickly.

...sat at my desk this afternoon thinking about how I would have much rather been back at the Indigo bookstore spending the afternoon reading my book by the windows overlooking McGill College Avenue and then chatting away with my friend V after she surprised me by coming to join me. She had seen my status update mentioning how I was enjoying a quiet afternoon there and came for some quality one-on-one time :o)

...found that the day went by quite quickly despite my wishing I was reading my book and chatting with V looking forward to this evening's Titanic documentary on the National Geographic channel. So far this week I have learned that after studying her debris field, a team of experts determined that the Titanic more than likely tilted up at no more than a 23 degree angle rather than her stern rising all the way up out of the water. The same team of experts also determined that she split in two between her second and third funnels rather than between her third and fourth funnels. I have also learned that the reason why the Titanic struck an iceberg and  sank was that her look-outs more than likely did not see the iceberg in time due to a cold weather mirage, a phenomenon caused by light crossing from cold, dense air to warmer air. Cold water mirage conditions, also called refraction, were reported by several ships in the same area the Titanic was in, which caused the iceberg the Titanic struck to be invisible to her look-outs until she was nearly on top of it. See the double horizon in this picture of a cold weather mirage from Finland? That's probably what happened To Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee, the Titanic's two night look-outs, except in their case the iceberg would have been cloaked by what looked perfectly normal: a very, very starry night sky with no moon.
These conditions are also why the Titanic and the Californian could not see one anothers' Morse lamps as they tried to signal back and forth to one another. The mirage effect made the lamps look like mast lights flickering. The mirage effect is also what made the Titanic look so small to the Californian. See the boat in this picture?

That is an oil tanker that looks like a fishing boat on top of looking like it has a second bridge floating upside down on its real one. They used the same image on last night's documentary (Titanic: Case Closed) to illustrate how the Titanic could have looked like a tramp steamer to the Californian who was such a very short distance (on the open ocean, at least) from the Titanic.

So that is what I have learned since Sunday, or at least part of it. I can't wait to learn more!!! If you have the National Geographic Channel, the Titanic documentaries are on every night at 9:00 P.M. and are well worth the watch!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Today I...April 9th

Today I...

...had a quiet day at home.

...slept quite late after having some issues getting to sleep after getting home from my family dinner last night. Good thing I didn't have to go to work this morning is all I have to say! enjoying my latest book, Rules of Civilty by Amor Towles, more and more as I near the end of it. The intrigue has been getting better the further along I get in the story! sharing this video excerpt form 'Ghosts of The Abyss', a film that was made several years ago in Imax 3D with all of you. This week is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's maiden voyage and sinking and The National Geographic Channel is having a week of Titanic documentaries every evening as of 8:00 P.M. to mark the centennial. I could not be happier about the week of documentaries as I have been fascinated with the story of the Titanic since I have been about 9 years old and have more than a dozen books about the ship and her story, but still always enjoy seeing new documentaries on the subject!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today I...April 8th

Today I... popping in quickly to wish you all a Happy Easter, if you celebrate it. If don't, happy Sunday and I hope you have had a lovely weekend. letting you all know that I just finished watching War Horse and loved it. It is a very, very touching film and displays perfectly how important and powerful the friendship between people and animals is. It is a friendship that bridges all gaps, even those caused by wars and this film expresses that perfectly. I highly recommend it, but I also recommend keeping a box of tissues nearby while you watch the movie, because you more than likely will not get through it dry eyed :o)

...have to run off and get ready for my Easter supper with my family. I'll be back soon though, probably tomorrow :o)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Skywatch Friday

This week's Skywatch feature is this photo of Garth the giraffe enjoying a snack at the Granby Zoo near Montreal on a beautiful, sunny day in June last year. To see more Skywatch photos from around the world, visit the Skywatch Friday blog.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. Don't eat too much chocolate!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Today I...April 3rd

Today I...

...Nailed down my vacation dates for this summer, or at least the time off I will be taking with my Sweetheart: May 26th to June 2nd. So I am sharing this wonderful little video of Paris by night with all of you. No, I do not know for sure that we are going to Paris yet, but it's looking good right now. If I keep poking him, he'll cave in I'm pretty sure. He already got hyped this evening when he began looking at the links for the cute little Paris apartments I sent him from HomeAway. If any of you are traveling soon to pretty much anywhere in the world, you should give HomeAway a try. It's a site that allows you to browse apartments for rent specifically to travelers in cities all over the world. It really is the more affordable way to go I find, because then you can buy your own food and cook meals for yourself and you really do have more of a chance to make yourself at home than in a hotel. It's the ideal solution for me when I travel, because I really need things to be the least expensive possible, but still comfortable, private and safe.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Today I...April 2nd

Today I...

...had the day off since I worked last yesterday and spent the afternoon setting up a large picture frame which can hold twelve pictures. It's for my living room wall and had been sitting beside my fireplace for a few months now waiting for me to fill it up.

...had more trouble than I expected finding pictures for the frame. It can hold six horizontal photos and six vertical photos. Finding horizontal photos was no problem as that is the orientation I take most of my photos in. The vertical ones however, where quite the trial. It took me a solid hour if not a bit more to find most of them and I ended up cheating a bit by choosing one of my Sweetheart's photos and turning the above photo of St-Peter's Basilica (Rome) that I took vertically. It worked out fine and I now have my frame full and will just wait until the next time my Sweetheart comes over to ask him to help me hang it :o) over yesterday's disappointment pretty quickly once I was at work.

...wrote to my Sweetheart to poke him into confirming our vacation dates before Wednesday, which will be the last day for me to hand them in to my boss for his signature before he goes away for a month. I'm quite looking forward to hearing back from him, because once we have our dates picked out, we'll be able to decide where we're going to go! I'm still hoping for Paris :o)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today I...April 1st

Today I... sharing this photo of a butterfly sitting on the finger of a staff member at Montreal's Botanical Gardens. trying to cheer myself up by sharing this photo of a butterfly.

...was in quite a cheerful mood thinking that I would be seeing my Sweetheart tonight and tomorrow, until I spoke with him and found out that we wouldn't be getting together after all. His work has not been going as well as he had hoped and he forgot that the had a meeting out in Laval tomorrow morning for an extension to a dentist's clinic that he and his partners are going to be building. His engineering consulting firm took off with the wind in its sails a few months ago and has since grown at three times the speed he and his partners had expected it to, which in itself is marvelous. The problem is that they are now swamped with work, doing things that they had only planned on doing three years from now when they had already earned money doing smaller projects that would allow them to hire staff to help them get through the bigger projects. They never really went through the small phase though, they just kind of went straight to medium and now they're getting pretty darn close to the big phase...but do not yet have the money to hire another member for their team. longer feel like going to work. I just want to stay home and am feeling kind of mopey, especially since the weather outside is going to match my mood in a bit: they're announcing rain. Insert me sighing here. Guess I'll just have to suck it up and get over it.